Farmers urged to support protest against WTO sell-out

Farmers in county Roscommon are this week being urged to come out in support of a national IFA protest taking place in Dublin on Thursday next, April 17th, against what the IFA has termed ‘Mandelson’s efforts to sell-out Irish and European agriculture in the WTO negotiations.’ Urging farmers to attend the protest, IFA Chairman in Roscommon, Bernard Donohue said, ‘The WTO negotiations are at a critical stage and Mandelson is out of control, offering to destroy the CAP in a reckless last-ditch effort to get a deal.’ Mr. Donohue said IFA is holding an emergency meeting this Thursday night (April 10th) at 9 pm sharp in The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon. Bus times for the protest will be outlined at the meeting. ‘Mandelson’s boss, EU Commission President Barroso, will be in Dublin that day and our protest will send him a strong message that Mandelson must be stopped,’ said Mr. Donohue. IFA is joining with the other farming and food industry organisations, including ICOS and Meat Industry Ireland, the co-ops and marts, in holding a national farming and food industry protest aimed at telling Barroso that the Irish farming and food industry would be devastated by Mandelson’s deal. ‘The reality of the Mandelson cuts would be a flood of beef steak imports from South America into Europe, which would collapse Irish cattle prices to €2.00/kg or 70p/lb, making suckler and livestock farming totally uneconomic. Milk prices would be cut to 24c/litre as a direct result of greatly increased imports of butter and other dairy products. There would also be huge losses in the sheep, pigs, Poultry and Grain sectors.’ ‘Irish agriculture would be devastated and the loss of farmers’ livelihoods and jobs in the food industry, agri-business and services would be felt in towns and communities across the entire country. If Mandelson is not stopped, we are facing a €4 billion per year loss to economy with rural Ireland hardest hit by far. This is a crucial protest in our campaign to stop Mandelson and secure the future of Irish farming.’ Bus times Bus 1. Roscommon Mart 9 am Knockcroghery 9.10 am, Lecarrow 9.15 am, Kiltoom 9.30 am, Ganley’s Athlone 9.40 am. Bus 2. Ballaghaderreen 8.30 am, Castlerea 8.45 am, Tulsk 9 am, Strokestown 9.15 am, Tarmonbarry 9.20 am.